Down and Dirty – A Dawson/Tokugawa Romance (Cole McGinnis #5), Rhys Ford


Down and DirtyRating: 5 Stars

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Genre: Gay Romance

Tags: Contemporary, Age Difference, Interracial, Murder/Mystery, Series

 Length: 220 Pages

Reviewer: Cindi

Purchase At: Dreamspinner Press, – Release Date: 01/02/2015



Stop by On Top Down Under on January 2nd, when Rhys Ford will be here as part of the Down and Dirty blog tour with a great giveaway!



From the moment former LAPD detective Bobby Dawson spots Ichiro Tokugawa, he knows the man is trouble. And not just because the much younger Japanese inker is hot, complicated, and pushes every one of Bobby’s buttons. No, Ichi is trouble because he’s Cole McGinnis’s younger brother and off-limits in every possible way. And Bobby knows that even before Cole threatens to kill him for looking Ichi’s way. But despite his gut telling him Ichi is bad news, Bobby can’t stop looking… or wanting.

Ichi was never one to play by the rules. Growing up in Japan as his father’s heir, he’d been bound by every rule imaginable until he had enough and walked away from everything to become his own man. Los Angeles was supposed to be a brief pitstop before he moved on, but after connecting with his American half-brothers, it looks like a good city to call home for a while—if it weren’t for Bobby Dawson.

Bobby is definitely a love-them-and-leave-them type, a philosophy Ichi whole-heartedly agrees with. Family was as much of a relationship as Ichi was looking for, but something about the gruff and handsome Bobby Dawson that makes Ichi want more.


I’m going to get a couple of things out of the way before I get into my review. First, I have a major kink for characters who have a substantial age difference. Ichiro is young enough to be Bobby’s son. He’s actually the same age, at twenty-seven, as Bobby’s son Jamie. Second, who doesn’t love a bad boy who finds the one person worth being good for? If you’ve read any of the Cole McGinnis stories to date, you know all about Bobby. He’s a self-proclaimed slut. There’s not a twink he won’t fuck and happily-ever-after isn’t in his vocabulary.

Then he meets Cole and Mike McGinnis’ baby brother, Ichiro.

If you’ve followed the series to this point, you know that Ichi left Japan to find his long-lost brothers – brothers he’d never met. Those brothers are Cole and Mike. Mike is a bit on the serious side, while Cole is… well, he’s Cole. No, calling Mike a bit on the serious side is an insult to all serious folks out there. He takes his big brother role to the extreme. While understandable, it’s also frustrating for all those around him. Cole is the same Cole he’s always been. If there are bullets to be fired, Cole will find himself right in the middle of the shoot-out, even if he just happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Cole doesn’t have to look for trouble because it finds him… often.

Cole and Ichiro have a pretty good relationship. It took awhile for Cole to warm up to the little brother he never knew he had, but when he did he went all protective and big brother mode. It was made clear – often – that Bobby (Cole’s best friend in the world) was to stay far, far away from Ichi. Imagine the possibility of maybe someday being forced to choose between the best friend you love as a brother and your actual brother if the relationship goes south? And Bobby isn’t known for fidelity. He’s not exactly known for waking up with the same guy each morning, if you know what I mean.

But there is something about Ichi that goes beyond Bobby wanting sex with him, and that something scares Bobby to death.  If you read Dirty Deeds (Cole McGinnis #4), and that ending? Yeah, that. No way in hell will I be ruining that ending for anyone who hasn’t read that story (or the series as a whole) to this point, but if you read it, you know what’s going to happen, right? And it goes exactly the way one would expect.

Then there is Ichiro. Ichiro tells his story on his body in tats. The inking is more than a rebellion against his very traditional (and jerk of a) Japanese father. The tattoos literally tell his story. He was expected to be a certain way and to act a certain way and when that didn’t happen, his father made his dislike (a very mild word for his father) well known. This causes sadness for Ichi, but it doesn’t stop him from living his life the way he knows he needs to. There is more to the story of Ichiro and his father, but I’ll leave it to you to see for yourself when you read the book.

Then there is Jae. Oh, how I adore Jae. He is one of my favorite fictional characters and if you’ve read this series up to now, you know why. He grounds Cole. He gives him a safe place to call home at the end of the day. Cole is Cole. As I mention above, there isn’t a bullet in L.A that doesn’t have his name on it (slight exaggeration, sure, but come on!) and he always somehow, someway ends up in the midst of violence. Jae is calm and peaceful with a big heart. Cole is a bad-ass investigator who wants to save the world, one bullet wound at a time. 😉

Bobby and Ichi dance around each other for months. They want to get together bad, but refuse to because of Bobby and Cole’s friendship. What would happen if they (as I mention above) got together, it fizzled or one got hurt, and Cole was forced to choose between his best friend in the world and his baby brother? It would be no choice, really, and both men know this. So, they dance around each other and dance around each other until finally they give in. It takes Ichi having a vulnerable moment (involving Cole) for it to happen, but it does eventually happen.. and it happens often. *grin*

What happens when Cole finds out that Bobby and Ichi are hooking up behind his back? If you read Dirty Deeds, you know it’s going to happen. I wouldn’t dare spoil Cole’s reaction, but I will say that it’s exactly what the reader expects.

Then we get back to Bobby, the self-described slut. Bobby’s back story is told in Down and Dirty and as details came out little by little, the reader can’t help but sympathize and understand why he’s the way he is. But can Ichi drive away all those demons and make Bobby a faithful, loving partner? Oh, hell yeah. 😉 It was a pleasure seeing a softer side of Bobby. Oh, he’s still the funny-as-hell goofball best friend to Cole, but he and Ichi are simply perfect for each other.

The sex scenes, as always from this author, are off the charts. You know that Bobby is a naughty boy and then throw in Ichi (tats, motorcycle) and you know these two will be hot as hell in bed together.

Overall, in case it hasn’t been made more than obvious to this point, I loved this book. It’s not all gunfights and murders like the others in the series, but this isn’t a Cole and Jae story. It’s Bobby and Ichi’s. Cole and Jae (and God love her, Claudia) are in the book, but they are secondaries this go ’round. Excellent story. Excellent characters. A new fave in the series.


An ARC of this book was provided by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.



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CindiLisa HKazza KTracy Recent comment authors
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This is my favorite of Rhys Ford’s series so I am extremely excited!

Kazza K

Great review, Cindi. Love the age difference too and, well, is there any more to it? LOL.

I know your love of this series and I’m glad the author not only kept that momentum going, but made it even better.

Lisa H
Lisa H

First of all, Happy New Year Cindi and Kazza. Hope you both enjoyed the holidays. 🙂

Great review, Cindi. I have been looking forward to Bobby’s story for so long, especially when it was revealed that Ichi would be his love interest. Can’t wait to get started on it. My copy is already downloaded and ready to go in my Kindle. My husband and son are about to find out that I have very important plans for the rest of the evening. 😉